One example might be a person who survives a car crash in Knoxville in which a loved one dies. If the plaintiff can prove negligence, then any mental or emotional suffering resulting from the accident might be a recoverable damage. Seeing a loved one killed in an accident would traumatize anybody, but not every case of emotional distress will be so clear.
Providing a range can also be beneficial in allowing the jury to make the determination as to what the final number will be. Your attorney can then ask the jury, “what is missing out on an activity you loved to do with your spouse worth weekly? $5? $25? $100?” If that person is 40 years old at the time of the crash and is expected to live another 42 years, the price for that loss over a lifetime ranges from $10,920 to $218,400. Presenting multiple stories from different witnesses demonstrating the extent of your pain and suffering damages and including a monetary range for each will allow the jury a viable opportunity to compensate you for that loss.
How is emotional distress defined in the eyes of the law? In most cases, you can only sue for emotional damages if the incident in question physically harmed you. Emotional distress suits are trickier than other types of lawsuits. It’s important to have a solid understanding of the types of emotional distress claims before you attempt to file a lawsuit.
Second, from a procedural standpoint, medical malpractice cases can be unique (and pretty complex) depending on the state where you live. You (and your attorney) will need a good understanding of the procedural requirements necessary before - or soon after - filing the lawsuit, including filing an affidavit of merit, complying with pre-lawsuit screening, and other special steps . An experienced medical malpractice lawyer will be very familiar with these rules, and will know how to avoid pitfalls and delays so that your case stays on track.
Another potential cause of action is intentional infliction of emotional distress. This is based on a doctor’s outrageous conduct that intentionally or recklessly causes a patient to suffer severe emotional distress. This must be beyond a mere slight as it must be something that would outrage society. The common law tort required a physical manifestation of injury, but most jurisdictions no longer require this element. This cause of action has been successful in some cases in which patients recorded their doctors performing medical treatment while mocking and ridiculing the patient to a serious degree.
According to Joseph’s Incorporated, proof of negligence is decided on the basis of a balance of probabilities. If you want to pursue a case, the onus is on you to prove negligence, as well as damage due to the negligence (see “Burden of proof”, below). Medical experts have to provide relevant, credible, reliable information, as it is certain that opposing lawyers will look for any opportunity to discredit them.
I was recently abruptly terminated by my employer of 17 years. I worked for a relatively small (25-30 employees), family-owned, manufacturing company in a niche market, in the position of general manager for the past 10, and was responsible for distributor relations, trade shows, etc for the entire 17. Without any warning, I was terminated via text message in December. I didn't have the opportunity to speak with any of the customers that I had formed relationships with over the years, to clear out my office of 17 years of accumulated personal belongings, or to even speak with anyone regarding my termination. I was sent a letter from an attorney representing the company instructing me that I was not to attempt to contact the company directly. My belongings were (literally!) thrown into a couple of boxes (picture frames and momentos were broken), and shipped to my home - I live 2 miles from the company. A friend - still employed there, noticed some of my personal things; including a 5x7 school photo of my family, in the trash, and retrieved it and other items to return to me, but had to leave the soiled items in the trash. I have no record of disciplinary problems nor any reason to have anticipated any of this. I feel stripped of my dignity, my reputation, my friends. I went from making $75,000 yr to less than $400 wk on unemployment. Since my termination I understand that the a family member of the owner has taken over many of the responsibilities that had been mine, leading me to believe that this was likely the motive, and while I understand family ties and obligations, and realize that no labor laws have been broken, it was done maliciously, knowing the devastation it would cause to me.
Medical malpractice insurance carriers generally require very large deductibles from their insured doctors. Furthermore, most states have laws that require doctors to report any claims of medical malpractice to a state-run board, which can result in higher insurance rates. Doctors may be willing to settle for an amount at or around the amount of their deductible, as it will abrogate the need for them to report the case. They are simply choosing to pay you the amount of the deductible instead of paying the insurance company. Seek counsel before accepting this type of settlement, as you need to be sure your future medical needs will be provided for.
1. When a person comes into a medical facility and asks to be evaluated, the hospital must provide a medical screening examination (MSE) to determine if there is an emergency medical condition (EMC), including active labor. The hospital may not decide on treatment based on your ability to pay and may not delay treatment to your detriment because they want to prove you can pay, such as pre-authorization from private health insurance. Thus the statute puts your welfare above the pocketbook of the hospital. The statute requires the hospital to use the medical equipment on hand, such as xray, CAT scan, MRI, EMG, EKG equipment as part of the emergency medical screening (EMC) process. So if the hospital just figures you are ok without doing tests, they may be liable under EMTALA. EMTALA applies to any patient coming in to the hospital, not just indigent patients.
A large number of medical malpractice lawsuits stem from the misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of a medical condition, illness, or injury. When a doctor's diagnosis error leads to incorrect treatment, delayed treatment, or no treatment at all, a patient's condition can be made much worse, and they may even die. That being said, a mistake in diagnosis by itself is not enough to sustain a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Every doctor and nurse has a legal duty to provide a good standard of care. If you feel they have fallen short, you can report them to their regulatory body. For doctors, this is the General Medical Council (gmc-uk.org), or the Nursing and Midwifery Council (nmc.org.uk) for nurses. These bodies can investigate serious mistakes in clinical care, dishonesty or abuse of position, but can’t make a doctor or nurse apologise to you, impose a fine or help you with a compensation claim.
Misdiagnosis in a hospital emergency room can be caused by the pressure and reduced time available to look into various differential diagnoses. Unusual illnesses or illnesses that are distinctive to a particular population are more likely to be missed. For example, a homeless person who comes to the emergency room asking for pain medication may be taken less seriously than an ordinary person who comes in wearing clean clothes and complaining of stomach pains. This may result in a missed diagnosis of appendicitis regarding the homeless person.
Tennessee used to require plaintiffs to prove physical effects from the stress in order to receive compensation. But in this case, the court outlined a more nuanced set of criteria for determining emotional distress. The ruling listed six factors for consideration when deciding to award damages for the intentional or negligent infliction of emotional stress:
(2) Negligence in the context of the medical profession necessarily calls for a treatment with a difference. To infer rashness or negligence on the part of a professional, in particular a doctor, additional considerations apply. A case of occupational negligence is different from one of professional negligence. A simple lack of care, an error of judgment or an accident, is not proof of negligence on the part of a medical professional. So long as a doctor follows a practice acceptable to the medical profession of that day, he cannot be held liable for negligence merely because a better alternative course or method of treatment was also available or simply because a more skilled doctor would not have chosen to follow or resort to that practice or procedure which the accused followed. When it comes to the failure of taking precautions, what has to be seen is whether those precautions were taken which the ordinary experience of men has found to be sufficient; a failure to use special or extraordinary precautions which might have prevented the particular happening cannot be the standard for judging the alleged negligence. So also, the standard of care, while assessing the practice as adopted, is judged in the light of knowledge available at the time of the incident, and not at the date of trial. Similarly, when the charge of negligence arises out of failure to use some particular equipment, the charge would fail if the equipment was not generally available at that particular time (that is, the time of the incident) at which it is suggested it should have been used.
One of the most common reasons that a physician may be accused of medical malpractice is due to the failure to diagnose. This is premised on the idea that the patient needlessly suffered for an extended period of time because the doctor failed to properly evaluate tests or run tests that should have reasonably notified him or her of the potential diagnosis. Other examples of medical malpractice include misdiagnosing a medical condition, failing to provide appropriate treatment, causing an unreasonable delay in treating a diagnosed condition, violating HIPAA laws, performing wrong-site surgery and performing surgery on the wrong patient.
People hurt each other’s feelings all the time. As such, courts have held that an IIED claim must be based on more than bad conduct. Liability does not extend to mere insults, indignities, threats, annoyances, or petty oppressions. Instead, the conduct must be so heinous and beyond the standards of civilized decency that it is utterly intolerable in a civilized society. The legal classic formulation of the standard is whether the conduct would cause a reasonable person to explain, “Outrageous!”
As you read this, don't assume she passed because of her heart. The surgery was successful, as expected. It was the aftercare that killed her: Avoidable infections, overdose of heparin, lines becoming dislodged, a doctor collapsing her lung while removing a drain tube. It seemed endless but was only 95 days. One heart surgery with a 99.9 percent success rate and a week of recovery in the hospital turned into three heart surgeries, an exploratory abdominal surgery and seven hospital associated infections and 95 days later, her death. I wish there were a medical court (of sorts) that patients could go to without an attorney. They could file a complaint and sit in a room with the doctor, nurses, specialists and a panel of “judges” and plead their case. Ask their questions. No attorneys. No “specialists.” Just a place to get answers, and, if needed, monetary compensation. Personally, I just wanted answers.
About three-quarters of mediations result in a satisfactory outcome, often within a day, but mediation is not legally binding until a written agreement is signed and the case can proceed to court. The NHS Litigation Authority launched a mediation service in 2014 for cases that have reached the compensation stage (contact the trust involved directly for more information). The Tutu Foundation also offers a mediation service (tutufoundationuk.org, tel 01865 514830).